For the purpose of the viewer, the languages are all in English.
990,000 years ago...
Dark clouds swirled around the enormous spires, which speared the sky with their incredible height, occasionally lit up by lightning, and bursts of flame from the Capitol ships drifting across the skyline. The spires were tall, elegant structures, made of a very smooth metal. Obscure humanoid figures ran through streets and alley ways between the structures, metal glinting through the torrential rain. The ships, which resembled overturned airborne skyscrapers, began to converge on one of the godly spires, and fired at it. The rumble of cannons, barely distinguishable from the thunder, could be heard from many miles away. Flashes of light dashed across the horizon, igniting against the spire, setting it aflame. Through the storm clouds, the Spire glowed like a monstrous beacon. Then, as if in slow motion, the enormous structure began to tilt, and then the entire top half of the spire broke off, and began to plummet towards the ground, trailing streams of fire behind.
From his position outside the Auctor’s fortress, AVG-0008-4 one of the nine venerable assistants to the last remaining Auctor of the machines, gazed silently at the flaming spire, falling in surreal slowness. With an echoing ‘BOOM’, the spire hit the ground. Even though the structure fell over 30 miles away, the impact made the ground tremble, and AVG-0008-4 staggered. A ghostly dust cloud rose up from the fallen spire, obscuring the ruins from view. The machine turned his single blue eye to the horizon, where the enemies’ ships had destroyed one the great pinnacles. The ships were turning around, now drifting towards the fortress. There was little time left, soon the Capitol ships would reach their fortress and raze it to the ground. For the first time, AVG-0008-4 (commonly known as Avguard) felt true fear. Fear for the Auctor, the last remaining Auctor, where the other eight fell, and fear for what was to become of their peaceful rule over the Galaxy.
Then around the corner he came, the last Auctor, walking briskly towards Avguard from the other end of the wide passageway leading to the fortress, accompanied by his other remaining assistant, AVA-0032-2. Avguard raised his machine hand in greeting. Just then a squad of enemy fighters flew overhead. One of them spotted the Auctor and his two assistants, and peeled away from the other fighters, streaking low over the ground behind the Auctor.
There was no time to warn them, action would have to suffice. By now the two had almost reached Avguard, so he dived forwards, snatching the machine gun that the other assistant was holding, and levelled it at the incoming plane. It raced towards them, now only several hundred yards away, and unleashed a storm of shells, tearing up the road around the three machines. Avguard fired his gun, spraying the fighter’s cockpit with bullets. Two of the bullets found their mark, blasting two obscenely large holes through the pilot’s torso.
The plane shot over their heads and smashed into the ground behind them, exploding into flames. Handing the gun back to AVA-0032-2, Avguard spoke for the first time in a deep respective voice, while ushering the Auctor towards the fortress.
“Noble Auctor, your escape vessel is waiting inside. We need to go now before the organics’ ships reach us” Said Avguard, hurrying the Auctor through the passage way, past the wreckage of the fighter, while the other assistant kept a keen eye on the road behind.
“Enemies inbound.” Stated AVA-0032-2. He was right. Armored deployment ships were descending like dark spectres from the stormy sky, illuminated by the harsh spotlights cast from the capitol ships. The three machines charged through the high-arched entrance of the fortress, metal feet thudding on the stone floor. They were greeted by an enormous stone hall, that somewhat resembled an oversized cathedral; there were enormous arches holding up the ceiling partially shrouded in mist, and the walls were lined with tombs or vaults, with stained glass windows higher up.
Rather than ending with a wall, door, or podium, the cathedral-like hall opened up into an even larger chamber, and parked on the stone floor of this chamber was a beautiful black cruiser, with swept back engine pods and a retracted loading ramp. It was an Ior-V-7, sleek, fast, and very agile, originally of Iokr design, adopted and modified by the machines as a rapid transport vessel.
As they moved towards the chamber, AVA-0032-2 boldly asked:
“Aren’t you at least going to make a stand against the demons?”
“No. This planet is forsaken. We must save what he can and leave, or else we will be destroyed without doubt.” Spoke the Auctor.
“If I don’t survive the organics’ onslaught I ask that both of you join what resistance still remains of the machines. We shall fight another day, but to do so, we must live.”
By now the three were half way across the hall. Avguard turned at the sound of movement near the entrance... To be confronted by no less than ten enemy soldiers armed with rocket launchers. AVA-0032-2 responded by raising his gun and fired at the soldiers, but was hit by a rocket in his chest armor, destroying his chest piece and tearing through vital components.
Being the only one armed with a weapon, AVA-0032-2 drew all of the soldiers’ fire, giving Avguard and the Auctor a chance to react. Both machines sprinted forward towards the enemies. The humans turned their guns to the charging pair, but were too slow. The Auctor took out two of the soldiers with one blow, and disabled another with a powerful kick to the midsection. Avguard simply hurled his full weight at the soldiers, bowling 3 over and flattening one of them. The three remaining soldiers were quickly dispatched, and blood seeped silently across the stone floor, lapping hungrily against the machines’ feet.
Avguard looked over at the remains of AVA-0032-2. The machine was long dead; his body was smashed to pieces by the numerous rockets that had struck him.
“Farewell, friend.” said Avguard solemnly. The Auctor came up beside Avguard.
“Let us go, now” spoke the Auctor.
A distant humming could be heard, getting closer. Both machines realized what it was at the same time and began to run. The humming grew louder, as the enemy warship approached the old stone fortress. Avguard was fifty yards from the Ior-V-7, the Auctor a little ahead of him, when the right hand wall of the hall exploded inwards with a deafening crash. Flecks of colored glass and stone flew in all directions, and one of the great pillars that supported the high ceiling began the collapse. A gigantic chunk of the pillar crashed down in front of Avguard, separating him from the Auctor.
“keep going!" yelled Avguard, as more pillars began to collapse. Avguard dived under the fallen pillar that was wedged between the wall and the floor, to avoid being hit by the huge chunks of rubble now raining down from above. From his temporary sanctuary, Avguard saw the Auctor make it into the chamber and sprint up the loading ramp, which closed automatically behind him. The Ior-V-7 roared to life, and rose quickly, rubble bouncing off its flanks. Then Avguard’s vision was obscured, as the entire hall collapsed in on itself. He couldn’t see anything; it would have pitch black if the light from his eye did not illuminate his tiny prison. Protected beneath the fallen pillar, he realized that tons of rubble would by now have piled up, crushing any hope of escape. Distantly, Avguard heard the warship cruise away, it’s work finished.
And so, there Avguard remained, listening to the rumble of war slowly fade. An eerie silence descended over the city, which by now would certainly be in ruins. He did not know how long he sat there in the darkness; years, maybe even centuries, before Avguard finally lost the will to remain conscious, and lapsed into dormancy.
History moved on, and the age of machines ended, as new life forms entered the galaxy and evolved. Empires rose, expanded, and burned down. New empires emerged from the ashes of old ones and the cycle continued.
Machines, like Avguard, were all but forgotten... Until now.